Politics Block Massive Wind Energy Potential in Kansas
The politics of wind energy are roiling this year’s gubernatorial campaign in Kansas, a state where turbines could generate 3.1 million gigawatts-hours of low-carbon electricity per year, but is home to one of the country’s most determined green power opponents.
Ranchers like 70-year-old Jim Warta recognize that “the wind goes by. You just might as well use it,” Al Jazeera reports. But in nearby Wichita, Koch Industries and its libertarian advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, have led a fierce fight to repeal federal tax credits for wind. So far, the state only produces 0.3% of its potential, and Gov. Sam Brownback now finds himself “in the uncomfortable position of boasting about wind energy’s growth in the state—a source of several thousand much-needed jobs during his term—while trying to oppose the regulatory environment that has fostered that growth.”